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By Daniel Gallen and The Baltimore Sun | June 2, 2013
Entering Sunday's series finale with Detroit, the Orioles bench had struggled throughout the year in contributing late in games, hitting just 1-for-18 in pinch-hit situations. But against the Tigers, the Orioles got their first pinch hit since May 20 when Danny Valencia knocked in the tying run on a single to right field off Tigers reliever Phil Coke in the seventh inning. “I knew he had good stuff,” Valencia said. “I actually saw both of his pitches. He threw me a fastball first pitch and a slider second pitch.
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By Alejandro Zuniga and The Baltimore Sun | May 25, 2014
Orioles left fielder David Lough isn't aggravated with his struggles at the plate, even if Orioles manager Buck Showalter is frustrated for him. Lough is batting .169 this year and is 5-for-36 in his past 19 games. He wasn't in the starting lineup against the Cleveland Indians on Friday or Saturday, with Nelson Cruz playing left field and Delmon Young filling the designated hitter spot. Lough is starting in left field and batting eighth Sunday. "I got kind of frustrated for" Lough, Showalter said Friday.
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By Eduardo A. Encina and The Baltimore Sun | December 18, 2013
For the past several weeks, Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette turned to the Kansas City Royals in an attempt to acquire outfielder David Lough from the club's logjam of outfielders. It was one of many trade possibilities Duquette pursued in addressing the lack of a left-handed outfield bat created by the departure of left fielder Nate McLouth. And interestingly enough, the Orioles' selection in last week's Rule 5 draft paved the way for a trade, and on Wednesday, the Orioles acquired the 27-year-old Lough in exchange for infielder-designated hitter Danny Valencia.
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By Dan Connolly and The Baltimore Sun | May 16, 2014
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The drama of Thursday's night game had little to do with the Kansas City Royals' impressive hard-throwing rookie Yordano Ventura or another short but solid performance from the Orioles' Wei-Yin Chen. No, this one was mostly about who the Orioles would use to close out their 2-1 victory over the Royals. The answer was lefty Zach Britton, who had never had a save in his professional career - not in the minors nor the majors. And he handled it flawlessly, the way he has pitched this season.
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By Dan Connolly and The Baltimore Sun | May 18, 2013
Right-handed hitter Danny Valencia has been called up from Triple-A Norfolk and will be with the Orioles at Camden Yards on Sunday, according to an industry source. The 28-year-old, who did not play for the Tides on Saturday, is batting .306 with 11 home runs and 35 RBIs in 40 games this season. In his past 10 games, Valencia is batting .356 with seven home runs and 17 RBIs. He hit two home runs last Tuesday against Lehigh Valley.
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By Eduardo A. Encina and The Baltimore Sun | July 24, 2013
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Orioles are optioning designated hitter Danny Valencia to Triple-A Norfolk to make 25-man roster space for trade acquisition Francisco Rodriguez. With the Orioles scheduled to face right-handed starters over the next four days - Ervin Santana and Jeremy Guthrie here in Kansas City and Boston's Ryan Dempster and Brandon Workman on Friday and Saturday, respectively - the club doesn't need a right-handed designated hitter in the short term. That also signals more playing time for left-handed hitting rookie Henry Urrutia, who will make his third big-league start tonight against the Royals and is 4-for-12 so far. The club was also considering designating right-hander Jairo Asencio for assignment as the corresponding move to make room for Rodriguez, but the Orioles feared losing him on waivers.
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By Eduardo A. Encina and The Baltimore Sun | February 5, 2013
Orioles utility player Danny Valencia has been linked to a South Florida clinic that allegedly distributed performance-enhancing drugs to several major league baseball players, according to a report from Yahoo Sports published online Tuesday evening . Valencia's name is listed on records obtained by Yahoo from a now-defunct clinic named Biogenesis, which the Miami New Times reported last week had provided PEDs to several major leaguers,...
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By Eduardo A. Encina and The Baltimore Sun | July 18, 2013
Because Henry Urrutia hadn't played organized baseball in more than two years when he reported to Orioles spring training, the club was comfortable letting the 26-year-old Cuban outfielder get adjusted to professional baseball in the United States in the minor leagues. After 67 games in the minors, Urrutia will achieve his dream of playing in the majors. The Orioles plan to add Urrutia, as well as designated hitter Danny Valencia, to their 25-man roster before tonight's game in Texas, according to industry sources.
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By Dan Connolly and Daniel Gallen and The Baltimore Sun | August 4, 2013
After sending Steve Johnson to Triple-A on Saturday night so he could build up his innings in the Tides' rotation, the Orioles still had an open roster spot with Brian Roberts on the three-day paternity list. So they recalled infielder Danny Valencia from Norfolk and immediately inserted him into Sunday's lineup as the designated hitter. Valencia hadn't had a big league hit since June 16 and was in a 0-for-22 skid as an Oriole heading into Sunday. He grounded out in his first at-bat against the Seattle Mariners' Joe Saunders but snapped his hitless streak with a double in the fourth.
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By Eduardo A. Encina and The Baltimore Sun | December 19, 2013
Over the past two days, the Orioles have filled two needs -- signing right-hander Grant Balfour to become the new closer and trading for outfielder David Lough to help fill the team's need for a left-handed hitter in left field. I like the deal for Lough. It did cost the Orioles a capable hitter in Danny Valencia, who was one of the club's hottest batters over the final month of the 2013 season. And while Lough gave the Kansas City Royals some spark last season, he isn't yet the spark plug that Nate McLouth was atop the Orioles' lineup.
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By Dan Connolly and The Baltimore Sun | May 16, 2014
OK, let's start with the official comments. Buck Showalter said after Thursday's 2-1 win versus the Kansas City Royals that using left-hander Zach Britton in the ninth inning instead of previous closer Tommy Hunter - or anyone else, for that matter - does not mean that Britton is the closer or that Hunter is not. "We're going to use whatever gives us the best chance to win, the best chance to put guys in the best spot to be successful and...
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By Dan Connolly, The Baltimore Sun | April 25, 2014
Orioles infielder Ryan Flaherty says he's pleased that Major League Baseball announced Friday that it would revert to the old interpretation of a catch on a transfer play. With a slight smile, though, Flaherty said, "it's about four (or so) days late. " Flaherty became the poster boy for interpreting the rule in its previous form after he dropped a ball while attempting to turn a double play in the seventh inning of Sunday's 7-6 loss to the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. With one on and no outs, Grady Sizemore hit a comebacker to pitcher Zach Britton , who threw to Flaherty at second base.
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By Eduardo A. Encina and The Baltimore Sun | March 3, 2014
SARASOTA, Fla. - The way Orioles manager Buck Showalter sees it, the addition of Nelson Cruz not only gives the club a middle-of-the-order power bat, but it will also give him the flexibility to keep other players healthy over the course of a 162-game season. Though it appeared that Cruz would get most of his at-bats this season as the designated hitter when the Orioles signed him to a one-year, $8-million deal, Showalter said Monday that Cruz will play left field regularly against left-handed pitching.
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By Eduardo A. Encina and The Baltimore Sun | February 22, 2014
SARASOTA, Fla. - Orioles manager Buck Showalter had praise for new outfielder David Lough, but also tempered expectations for the 28-year-old. The Orioles acquired Lough in December for third baseman Danny Valencia, who emerged as the team's right-handed designated hitter against left-handed pitching. “Kansas City is a very good organization, and I hope and I think that the reason why we got him is because they really had a need for Danny Valencia,” Showalter said. Danny will fit them well.
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Peter Schmuck | February 22, 2014
SARASOTA, FLA. - On the surface, the pending deal for former Texas Rangers slugger Nelson Cruz seems like a simple case of the Orioles deftly working the back end of the free agent market to get a solid designated hitter at a very reasonable price. Of course, there is nothing simple about it. The arrival of an established power guy with decent right-left splits could impact the fortunes of several other hitters on the Orioles roster, and the presence of one of the players disciplined in the notorious Biogenesis performance enhancing drug scandal is certain to generate some mixed feelings in the clubhouse.
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By Eduardo A. Encina and The Baltimore Sun | January 14, 2014
SARASOTA, Fla. -- This is the time in the offseason when savvy clubs are able to make some under-the-radar minor league signings that can help them down the road. And while the Orioles' signings of Delmon Young and Alexi Casilla over the past few days aren't groundbreaking -- I know a lot of fans just see it as more frustrating examples of bargain-bin shopping -- and by no means are they going to push the team over the top, they definitely fill some needs. Because of his strong splits against left-handed pitching, Young -- signed to a minor league deal Monday evening -- can fill the right-handed designated hitter spot left open when the Orioles traded Danny Valencia to the Kansas City Royals.
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By Eduardo A. Encina and The Baltimore Sun | September 7, 2013
The Orioles can win a series for the first time in two weeks this afternoon with a win over the White Sox. The Oriols win' last night, combined with the Rays' loss out west, puts them just two games out of the second AL wild-card spot as play begins today. Catcher Matt Wieters is getting the afternoon off, and Chris Snyder is making his first start since he joined the club on Sept. 1. Orioles manager Buck Showalter said if he would have considered starting reserve catcher Steve Clevenger (Mount St. Joseph)
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By Eduardo A. Encina and The Baltimore Sun | January 13, 2014
SARASOTA, Fla. -- The Orioles have signed outfielder Delmon Young to a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training, the team announced Monday. Young and outfielder-designated hitter Jack Cust had been invited to the Orioles' minicamp this week, according to an industry source. Now that Young has signed, he could stop by the Ed Smith Stadium complex on Wednesday or Thursday, while Cust is expected to arrive Tuesday. Signing players out of the team's minicamp has been a regular occurrence.
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By Eduardo A. Encina and The Baltimore Sun | January 11, 2014
In this space 24 hours ago, I wrote an update on the Orioles' nine free agents. One of those players -- second baseman Alexi Casilla -- had yet to sign with a team. But on Friday, the Orioles announced that they were re-signing Casilla, whose $3 million option was declined in October, to a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training. Bringing back Casilla is an interesting move -- and it seems to be a good move for both the Orioles and Casilla. I think few will be surprised if he makes the team, despite the growing logjam of candidates at second base.
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